Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mini Goals

Lately I have been working hard to try to stick to a workout schedule. With the start of the school year (yes in AZ it starts at the end of July or beginning of August) it means my wife will be going back to work and I will once again have the pleasure (or duty - depending on the day) of transporting our three year old to daycare a preschool. Sticking to a workout schedule becomes more difficult. I also tutor at Grande Sports Academy, a residential soccer program, three nights per week. So the schedule gets more hectic and getting up with the alarm at 5 gets tougher.

While running earlier this week I found myself wanting to take a walking break after running just over a mile. With another 1.5 miles to go, I was having a sort of internal struggle over whether or not to take a short walking break. My hip was hurting, I was out of breath, and my allergies were causing issues beyond the normal. The struggle led me to keep setting mini-goals. Keep running to the next intersection, then the stop-light, then catch that guy that is walking, then to the corner in front our house. Before I knew it, the run was over and I never did take a walking break. I find myself doing this when I work out. One more set of 10 burpees, 15 more seconds planking, 3 more sprints, etc. I break down a workout that seems overwhelming into a series of mini-goals. This helps me keep from giving in to the aches, pains, or lack of motivation.

Amid the argument in my head, I began to realize that this strategy can apply to other areas of life. I specifically thought about using this strategy in education. Instead of being overwhelmed by a larger goal you may have (integrate technology, implement problem-based learning, etc.) break a larger, long-term goal into one mini-step at a time.

As a trainer this is something that I sometimes fail to do. I fail to help participants break an overwhelming task into smaller more attainable mini-goals. This is one great weakness that I see in the model of PD that I am sometimes asked to deliver. One-time, all-day PD sessions often have excellent content, strategies, resources etc. However, they truly lack in follow-through and support. Fortunately many schools are beginning to ask for follow up support as their teachers implement the new _______________ that has been presented. It is more effective and it seems that teachers are much more willing and able to truly change their teaching when this support is provided.

My goal is to be more cognizant of what my long-term goals are and work to create mini-goals that lead me to the finish line. Although, if you are a runner you know that one finish line leads to another start.

What are your long-term goals and what are some mini-goals that will help you get there?